Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeeducationFamily of Loudoun County sexual assault victim sues district for $30M over...

Family of Loudoun County sexual assault victim sues district for $30M over student’s rape in school bathroom

The family of a teenage girl who was raped in a high school bathroom is suing Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia for $30 million over accusations the school district failed to adequately investigate and that it attempted to cover up the sexual assault.

The Northern Virginia district garnered national attention after a father, Scott Smith, made allegations at a June 2021 school board meeting that it covered up his daughter’s sexual assault from May 28 of that year, when he alleges a biological boy wearing a skirt raped her in the girls’ bathroom at Stone Bridge High School. Smith said the district had attempted to cover up his daughter’s assault to push its controversial transgender bathroom policy, which faced parental protests at LCPS school board meetings that year.

The student accused of rape was charged after the May assault and barred by court order from returning to Stone Bridge. The attacker was then transferred by administrators to another school in the district, Broad Run High School, where the student sexually assaulted another girl in an empty classroom in October 2021. The attacker, who was 15 at the time, was convicted as a juvenile in both cases.

In the lawsuit, the family alleges that the district lied to the public to cover up the May assault because it was working to advance Policy 8040, which allows students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. The policy had not been implemented at the time of the assault.

The criticism of the district from the grand jury and the law firm for failing to adequately respond to the assaults included the law firm’s report saying the district did not appear to have made “any outreach to victim 1 or her family to check on her.”

The school board fired Ziegler days after the grand jury report. Last week, he was found guilty of the retaliatory firing of a special education teacher, a misdemeanor charge linked to the district’s handling of the two sexual assaults.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Education opened an investigation into LCPS over its handling of the sexual assaults.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular